Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Canada Day, 2010!

Happy Canada Day!

What an opportunity to gather in our community and to proudly celebrate all it means to be Canadian. Let’s also take the opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful features about our Town!

From breathtaking vistas, to babbling brooks, to plentiful orchards and rich agricultural soil, Pelham enjoys a refreshingly natural and rural character. This natural character especially stands out during the spring and summer.

From the historic villages of Effingham, Fenwick, Fonthill, Ridgeville, and North Pelham, the Town of Pelham remains grounded with a distinctive, small-town feel.

Home to diverse and creative businesses, Pelham also offers unique goods and services to residents and visitors. Their continued success depends on our patronage.

I am proud that these wonderful aspects of our Town make Pelham the community of choice in Niagara.

You and I are also blessed to have so many of our neighbours working to make our Town a prosperous, vibrant and caring community. I continuously marvel at the work and dedication of so many generous volunteers form the foundation of our vibrant community. From the Santa Clause Parade, to the Fenwick Lions Carnival, to the weekly Farmer’s Market, to the Fonthill Bandshell Concert Series, to the Canada Day Parade, volunteers organize and run our Town’s significant public events. From Communities in Bloom, to the Horticultural Society, to those that have “adopted a road”, volunteers work to beautify our Town. In every sport from baseball and hockey, to soccer and tennis, volunteers – like the coaches, convenors, and score keepers – ensure that our children enjoy the fun-of-the-game. F

We also live in a peaceful, safe community with great schools, and many recreation opportunities. We enjoy clean water, wonderful libraries, and a good mix of neighbourhood and community parks.

A dedicated police service, devoted volunteer firefighters, and expert emergency personnel protect you and I from harm. We have fair access to good and affordable healthcare.

And, while we may have some work in a few of these areas, on a global scale, we fare very well and should be thankful.

We enjoy freedoms of conscience and religion, of thought, belief, opinion and expression, of assembly, and of association. We are free from persecution and from tyranny.

As you and your family and friends commemorate our country’s 143rd birthday, I hope you will join me in celebrating and in giving thanks for our Pelham and our Canada.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Improving More Roads this Summer

As you drive around our Town this summer, you will see some additional road improvements. Even though we are undertaking some large and special projects – like reconstructing Haist Street, burying the hydro lines on Pelham Street, and installing new playgrounds throughout Town – Council remains committed to annually improving the Town’s road infrastructure.

Rural Roads:
You might find it interesting that Pelham issues a joint tender with the Townships of West Lincoln and Wainfleet for reconstructing and resurfacing of rural roads using a “bituminous” surface treatment. By working together and offering a larger contact, each Municipality gets better tender pricing.

The following rural roads are scheduled for reconstruction:
- Effingham St. from Roland Road to Sixteen;
- Roland Road from Cream St. to Centre St. and from Sulphur Spring Dr. to 400 metres west;
- Foss Road from Farr St. to Church St.;
- Chantler Road from just west of Effingham to Cream St. and from Balfour St. to Church St.;
- Centre St. from Sixteen Rd. to Kilman Rd.

Rural road reconstruction includes placing granular material to increase the thickness of the road base, pulverizing the old road surface and recycling it into the road base, and applying a double layer of bituminous surface treatment.

The following rural roads are scheduled for resurfacing:
- Staines St.;
- River Road from Cream St. to the Niagara Central Airport entrance;
- Luffman Drive from Sulphur Spring Dr. to Orchard Hill Rd.

Rural road resurfacing includes applying a single layer of bituminous surface treatment to help seal the existing road surface and to help protect the road base.

Urban Roads:
The Town will also resurface a number of urban roads with a layer of asphalt, and will repair catch basins, manholes, sidewalks and curbs adjacent to the resurfacing projects.

The following urban roads are scheduled for resurfacing this year:
- Edward Avenue from Welland Road to Lawrence Lane;
- Merritt Road from Pelham St. to Line Ave.;
- Station Street from Port Robinson Rd. to Regional Road #20;
- Spruceside Cres. from Milburn Dr. to Pelham St.;
- Mayfair Avenue from Chestnut St. to Lorimer St.;
- Leslie Place (including installation of a subdrain to resolve ongoing drainage problems);
- Effingham Street from Canboro Rd. to Pancake Lane (including cleaning roadside ditches and installing new culverts to help with drainage);

Rest assured that Council remains committed to maintaining and improving the Town’s road infrastructure.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Appreciating You as We Improve Water Infrastructure

If you are on Municipal water, has your water meter been replaced yet? If not, do you have an appointment booked? Or, maybe you haven’t yet received an information brochure – you should expect one in the mail soon.

The water meter replacement program, which was officially launched in mid-April, is more than 64% complete! Residents have been contacting Neptune – the Town’s contractor – in record numbers to have their water meter upgraded to the new RF (Radio Frequency) meter; this replacement rate substantially exceeds projections because of the willingness and assistance of you and other residents! Thank you!

Why are we investing in our water infrastructure and replacing every water meter in Town, you ask?

Over the last few years, residents and the Town have experienced several major challenges with the existing water meters. Whether it was one of the 800 gallon meters installed 40 years ago or one of many with an external “remote” from the 1980s, most meters were faulty, failing, or about to fail.

As the meters failed, billings dropped or changed. On a personal note, for example, we discovered that the remote meter outside our home was slow when compared to the meter inside. While the Town used the remote to calculate our bill, it didn’t bill for all of our water use; the meter in our basement tracked our actual water use instead. So, in 2008 the Town replaced our remote and meter and (rest assured) we settled the account by paying for the water we had consumed over the years.

Given the Town’s small staff, it would have taken 7 to 12 years to replace all water meters! So, together with the manufacturer – Neptune – we developed a plan to replace the old meters to the latest technology at a unit cost cheaper than we actually paid to purchase the meters (never mind install them)! Now, Town staff is only upgrading any newer equipment to the RF readers – like they did at our home in May.

Finally, the new Radio Frequency meters provide remote and accurate readings. Staff will read all water meters in half-a-day instead of the 14 days it currently takes. The meters can tell if you have a water leak, will report if someone tampers with it, and will be maintenance free for 20 years. Finally, the meters will help staff to find any leaks or water losses throughout the water system.

On behalf of Council and staff, I want to thank you and other residents for your amazing cooperation and commitment in making this replacement project a success for the whole community.